Ex-NY senator considering governor run against Cuomo

ALBANY, N.Y. -- After losing re-election in 2014 and then a rematch last year, former Sen. Terry Gipson appears to have a new target: Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The former Democratic senator from the Hudson Valley recently wrote to progressive groups in New York saying he is considering a primary against the governor in 2018, when Cuomo plans to seek a third term.

"I’m a former NY State Senator (D) and believe that New York deserves a real Democratic governor that will lead our party and move true Democratic policy forward," Gipson wrote in an email July 19 to the group, NY Progressive Action Network.

"In Trump's new America we cannot afford to wait. That’s why I’m exploring a run for governor in 2018."

Some liberal groups are hoping to find a formidable primary challenger to Cuomo next year, questioning his progressive agenda after first being elected in 2011.

In 2014, Fordham Law professor Zephyr Teachout ran a spirited primary against Cuomo, giving some groups hope that they can find another candidate who could run competitively against Cuomo next year. Teachout has indicated she will not run again for governor.

Gipson is expected to meet next month with the Progressive Action Network to discuss his potential candidacy, said Arthur Schwartz, the group's treasurer.

"NYPAN believes that Cuomo can be beaten, he lost most upstate counties to Zephyr Teachout in 2014, and now the subway and suburban railroad crisis has eaten into his support in the downstate areas which were his stronghold in 2014," Schwartz said in an email.

There was no immediate comment from Gipson about his plans or his email, which was first reported by the New York Post.

Gipson won a three-way race for state Senate in 2012 in a district that stretches across Dutchess and Putnam counties, defeating long-time Republican incumbent Stephen Saland.

But two years later, Gipson lost to Republican Sue Serino, and he lost a rematch again last year.

Taking on Cuomo would be an uphill struggle for the senator born in Texas and little known outside his former Senate district.

Cuomo, who is also considered a potential presidential candidate in 2020, had $26 million in his campaign warchest last week. Gipson said $6,800.

A primary challenge against Cuomo would also allow Cuomo to raise more money: A primary lets donors contribute both to the primary race and the general election.

A Siena College poll this month showed Cuomo had a 68 percent approval rating with liberals, who also said they would re-elect him by a 54 percent to 37 percent margin.

© Gannett Co., Inc. 2017. All Rights Reserved


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